The human spinal cord exists in a particularly unfavorable magnetic field environment. Technical development of diffusion and functional MRI methods would be facilitated by a phantom to model spatially and temporally periodic field inhomogeneities. We have designed a phantom capable of simulating these specific field disturbances. The spinal canal was machined from acrylic, and the cord was cast of polyvinyl alcohol. The phantom was imaged using anatomical CT and MRI, and functional and diffusion EPI protocols. The phantom has relaxation and diffusion properties similar to the human cord, and air-filled vials create spatially periodic frequency shifts of -100 Hz.